Charles L. Carpenter, 89, A Retired Rear Admiral

Posted: February 24, 1992

Rear Admiral Charles L. Carpenter, 89, a retired Navy officer who saw active duty during several World War II battles, died Friday in Riddle Memorial Hospital. He lived in Lima, Delaware County.

Raised in Wilkinsburg, east of Pittsburgh, he attended the University of Pittsburgh and was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1922.

Following graduation in 1926, Mr. Carpenter served in the second Nicaraguan campaign. Afterward, he was stationed at the Boston Navy Yard and then assigned to Pacific duty.

It was during World War II that Mr. Carpenter commanded several amphibious craft in the battles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa and was navigator aboard the cruiser Helena when it was sunk in 1943 at Kula Gulf in the Solomon Islands.

For his service during the war, Mr. Carpenter received a number of medals and citations, including the Navy Cross and Purple Heart.

After the war, Mr. Carpenter was stationed at the 12th Naval District in San Francisco and subsequently commanded a research vessel during atomic-bomb testing at Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads.

Subsequently, he served in the U.S. Naval Mission to Lima, Peru, in 1950. He was then stationed at Naval Headquarters in Washington, and was commodore of a destroyer squadron in the Mediterranean in 1952.

His last assignment, before retiring from the Navy in 1956, was commander of the Naval Receiving Station at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

After leaving the Navy, Mr. Carpenter moved to Drexel Hill, where he lived until moving to Lima, Delaware County, in 1978.

He became executive director of the Pennsylvania United Theological

Seminary Foundation and served as its chief fund-raiser until the early 1960s.

His wife, the former Dorothy Hannah, died in 1973.

A Mason, Mr. Carpenter was also a member of the Drexel Hill United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his son, Charles L. Jr., a retired major of the U.S. Marines; daughter, Olivia Salzberg, and six grandchildren.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Spencer T. Videon Funeral Home, Garrett Road and Shadeland Avenue, Drexel Hill. Interment will be in South Waterboro, Maine.

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